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There is one daily train from San Francisco to Washington DC. Traveling by train from San Francisco to Washington DC usually takes around 75 hours and 43 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak train can make the trip in 74 hours and 5 minutes.
|Distance||2435 mi (3919 km)|
|Fastest train||74h 5m|
|Most frequent service||Amtrak|
What is the price of a train ticket from San Francisco to Washington DC?
In the last month, $228.11 was the average price of a train ticket from San Francisco, CA to Washington, DC. Given how far apart San Francisco and Washington DC are from each other, there's no getting around the fact that most train tickets are on the pricier side. You can expect to find tickets at that price or lower if you book your trip at least 29 days in advance. Otherwise, expect to pay around $178.39 more than that for a same-day booking.
Average prices by travel date
Over the next 30 days, the average cost of a one-way train trip from San Francisco to Washington DC will vary between $197 and $403. Planning a train trip to Washington within the upcoming week? The cheapest train ticket you can find from San Francisco over the next 7 days is $247. Make sure to book your trip as soon as possible as train fares tend to go up as you get closer to your travel date.
Monthly average prices
If you are trying to decide when to travel from San Francisco to Washington DC by train so you can score the best possible deal, your best bet would be to plan your trip for September. That’s when the average price for a train ticket is expected to be just $212 – the lowest of the year.
Alternatively, if you plan to travel from San Francisco to Washington DC in March, expect to spend more on your train trip, as the average ticket price usually surges to $266 at that time of year. However, if you book your trip ahead of time, you have a high chance of scoring a ticket at a lower price.
Prices as travel date approaches
If you want to score the best deal, you should plan to book your train trip online on Wanderu at least 29 days ahead of time. If you do that, your train ticket to Washington from San Francisco will be about $178.39 cheaper compared to what you would pay if you book at the last minute.
Which train should you take from San Francisco to Washington DC?
Amtrak is the one and only train line which connects San Francisco, California to Washington, District of Columbia. Furthermore, there is only one train per day, so you will have to plan your travel around this limited availability. On the other hand, you won't have to spend a ton of time comparing a bunch of possible options.
|Train||Daily Trips||Avg. Time||Avg. Price|
|Amtrak||1||3d 3h 44m||$315.11|
Amtrak is the largest passenger railroad service in America, offering daily intercity trains to hundreds of destinations across the contiguous United States, as well as several cities in Canada. Every Amtrak train comes equipped with comfortable seats with extra legroom, as well as several four-seat areas with tables in the middle. In addition, each car has a freshly cleaned restroom, free WiFi and power outlets at every seat. There are also snack bars where you can purchase drinks or food during your journey. On average, there are 1 Amtrak trains from San Francisco to Washington every day, as well as 2 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from $197.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to travel by train from San Francisco to Washington during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Our train partners have implemented several different policies to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. From limiting vehicle capacity to enhancing cleaning protocols and upgrading air filters, train carriers are committed to maintaining a safe environment. For details on what each company is doing to ensure their fleet remains safe for travel, click here.
In addition, federal law requires all train passengers to wear a face covering for the entire duration of the trip. Please make sure you are wearing a face mask or you may not be allowed to board the train.
Please visit our COVID-19 Travel Guide for more information on all carrier policies and the latest travel advisories issued by every U.S. state, Canadian province, and European country.
Can you take a train all the way from San Francisco to Washington DC?
How long is the train journey from San Francisco to Washington DC?
The distance between San Francisco and Washington DC is approximately 2435 miles, or 3919 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 75 hours and 43 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 74 hours and 5 minutes.
Looking for ways to pass the time? Most trains are equipped with Wi-Fi, which means you can stream music, browse social media or get some work done during your ride. That said, in case your train has a spotty signal, or is among the few without Wi-Fi, we also recommend downloading TV shows and movies to your mobile device in advance of your trip. That way the ride will fly by whatever the Wi-Fi situation.
When are trains the most crowded?
Trains from San Francisco to Washington DC are the most crowded on Monday. Tickets also tend to be more expensive then. If you are looking for a great deal on your train tickets or just want extra room to stretch out, consider traveling on Thursday instead, as it tends to be the least crowded day of the week.
When are the first and last trains of the day?
Most days, there is only one train which leaves San Francisco at 8:00am and arrives in Washington DC around 74 hours later.
Is there a direct train from San Francisco to Washington DC?
Typically there is only one scheduled train per day. However, it is not a direct train. This means that you will need to disembark from your original train and board a connecting train at some point during your journey. You will need to remember to bring your carry-on luggage with you when you transfer trains. Depending on the carrier's policy, you may also be responsible for transferring your own checked baggage.
You can also take a train for your return trip from Washington DC to San Francisco. If you're not not set on traveling by train, you could always take the bus from San Francisco to Washington DC for $240.00.
Located in the heart of Northern California's Bay Area, San Francisco is a geographically small but culturally huge city known for its historic cable cars, active waterfront, and the eclectic mix of hippies and techies who call it home. While it might be one of the most expensive U.S. cities to live in, San Fran can actually be very cheap to visit, and there is no shortage of unique sights to see.
If the city's omnipresent fog (nicknamed "Karl the Fog" by locals) takes a break, the best views and Instagram photo ops of the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge are found in Golden Gate Park. Stroll through the oldest Chinatown in North America to find the perfect dim sum, or if you and your boo prefer a little Full House moment, try a romantic picnic at Alamo Square Park in front of the Victorian "Painted Ladies." After all, San Francisco is one of the best vacation destinations for couples.
Since the city is condensed onto a small peninsula, exploring by bike is an efficient and scenic way to get around. When you’re ready to travel beyond city limits, San Francisco is a convenient hub for trips throughout Northern California. It's actually the first stop on Wanderu's West Coast Wine Tour, with the next stop, obviously, in Napa Valley. Whether traveling by bus, train, or through either of the two nearby airports, San Francisco is a can't-miss destination.
Washington, DC is the capital of the United States, and as such, it offers many points of interest of governmental and historical value. DC is home to several iconic landmarks, including the White House where the U.S. president resides, the Capitol building that houses the meeting chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the National Mall, where you can stop by the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the World War II Memorial. One of the reasons Washington, DC is among the best destinations to visit with your family is because it is home to so many world-famous museums, including the Smithsonians – 16 museums scattered across the District, most of which are open every day of the week, and even better, every single one is free.
D.C. is not just about politics and museums, though. The city’s active nightlife fittingly ranks it among the biggest party hubs in the country. Head to the vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood to check out some of the finest restaurants that the nation’s capital has to offer, and follow that up with a drink (or two) at one of the many bars in the area.
Where is the train station in San Francisco?
Behind a modern curved façade lies San Francisco’s commuter hub, the Salesforce Transit Center. This gateway to downtown San Francisco and the entire Bay Area welcomes tens of thousands of passengers every day. Finding your way around is easy thanks to more than 270 digital displays with transit information. The Salesforce Transit Center serves as a bus station for Greyhound and Amtrak Thruway buses, as well as several public transit options for convenient connections. A standout feature of the Salesforce Transit Center is a public five-acre rooftop park which gives travelers an open space to relax. Rotating food trucks, cafés, carts, and pop-up retail make this a dynamic and vibrant destination in itself.
Where is the train station in Washington DC?
Opened more than 100 years ago in 1907, Union Station is the largest transportation hub in Washington, D.C. with almost 5 million travelers passing through it every year. As the official headquarters of Amtrak, Union Station is the main train station in the U.S. capital. It is also a major hub for intercity bus travel, serving as the main bus station in D.C. for a number of carriers, including Greyhound, BoltBus, Peter Pan Bus Lines and OurBus. Union Station offers easy transit connections to places all over D.C. with dedicated stops for the city’s metro, bus and streetcar services, as well as commuter rail for travelers to and from the surrounding areas. Additionally, with a full blown shopping mall on the premises, Union Station is also among the most popular shopping destinations in the nation's capital.
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